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Thread: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

  1. #1

    Default Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    This is a playthrough of a campaign for Third Age Divide and Conquer 3.0 The Cold North.

    Recently I finished another campaign. This time it was with the Ar Adunaim, the royal numenoreas, since I wanted to experiment with some of their more goofy starting locations. Going in I knew that the campaign was not going to be easy because of my choice to start very far from Umbar but seeing as I am a seasoned player it was a challenge I happily accepted. My initial idea was to strike at Angmar and to take it over. Then I would ally with the free peoples and make war against my archnemesis - Rhun. The easterlings of Rhun have come to create massive empires in my last campaigns so I thought their expansion across almost all of Middle Earth was an inevitability unless I intervened. However, uprooting the Ar Adunaim from Umbar created ripples and everything went not according to plan and very soon I found myself in an unpredictable situation.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Sailing to Angmar
    I gathered my armies onto my black ships and sailed all the way north past Mithlond and the Blue Mountains. My army landed as close to Carn Dum as possible at around turn 22 and soon enough it captured Carn Dum making it my new capital. The local Angmarians didn't like this development and fought bitterly against me. I defeated their sieges against Carn Dum time and time again and captured another town though holding it was very tough. After killing 7 of their faction leaders they eventually suffered defeat. For a moment I had breathing room and slowly conquered the rebel regions around me. The first struggle was won largely due to the strength of Carn Dum's ballista towers and the might of my bodyguard units who at that point made up the majority of my army.

    Expanding in the North
    My next enemies were the Dunedain and the orcs of Moria. Over Rhudaur I fought against them both and the Dunedain in particular gave me a hard time. I signed an alliance deal with the Blue Mountain dwarves and they quickly joined me in my war against the Dunedain. At one point I bit off more than I could chew and fought an orc army twice the size of mine and suffered a crushing defeat even though most of their troops were snaga maggots. I returned with a larger force and completely drove the orcs from Rhudaur. I slowly fought the Dunedain winning against them until they came...

    Coming of the Skin-Changers
    Like a furious gale from the north the Beornings utterly devastated Gundabad and set their sights on me. If I knew what kind of war awaited me then I would have acted sooner. When the Beornings captured Litash and murdered one of my commanders I thought that I would retake the city in a moment. Needless to say that was not the case. The armies of my new fearsome enemy were vast. The realm of the Beornings stretched from Dol Guldor all the way Gundabad and I was their only remaining enemy. I attempted to fight them on the field a few times and quickly realised that it was a fool's errand. They fielded skin-changers, their general bodyguard unit, by the dozens. Entire armies of skin changers supported by competent longbowmen and knights made short work of my rag-tag team of Angmarians and Ar Adunaim. I retreated back to my fortifications and hoped for the best.

    Defensive War
    After half a dozen stacks were left annihilated at the walls of Carn Dum and Shedun my defenses were exhausted. The armies of skin-changers kept coming and their ferocity only grew regardless of how many bear heads I nailed to Shedun's gates. At the same time my old enemies, the Dunedain, pressed at my holdings in Rhudaur. I was mortified at the sight of their huge stacks approaching Cameth Brin. To my surprise I managed to beat them back several times. The Dunedain were severely weakened and I faced only their legions hailing from the neighbouring Goblin Town (later renamed to Orcgraveburg) which lacked any of the core Dunedain troops. I had little opportunity to rejoice, however, since Rivendell decided to attack me too. Cameth Brin was where the fighting took place and thanks to the four well positioned towers even the host of Imladris was left in ruins against the struggling and valiant defenders.

    Suing for Peace
    A great setback to my expansion had occurred and I sued for peace both with the Dunedain and with the Beornings. After demolishing everything in Cameth Brin I sold it to the Dunedain as their stacks were hammering at me without respite and I could not send reinforcements to Rhudaur. To the Beornings I gave Shedun though I knew the war was not really over with them. I just needed to buy myself some time to prepare a new force including many ballistas with which I planned to hold a defense so steadfast that even the might of Anduin unleashed would not cause it to falter.

    Against the Odds
    I trained four ballista units in my remaining territories and sent them over towards the bridge near Shedun. To my surprise the Beornings did not react to my provocation and instead left Shedun poorly defended while their massive hosts menacingly stood near my borders. I retook Shedun and also had another force prepared holding the bridge. The war was rekindled and the Beornings foolishly struck against my ballista-backed armies failing again and again. Ballistas could easily impale over a dozen elite Beornings, including their godlike skin-changers, and instantly kill them making them an irreplaceable asset. In Shedun, a town with small wooden walls and a very small gate with no gatehouse they functioned perfectly. The entire army of Anduin would crowd around the tiny gate creating a long mosh pit into which my ballistas could directly fire. Each ballista unit would kill roughly 300 Beornings per battle and I had four of them.

    I thought I had the pink armies under control at that moment but like the waters of seas against a cliff they wore me down even then. They grew ever fiercer and began deploying their armies one after the other thus not allowing me to reinforce the defenders at Shedun; as soon as a full stack of them got butchered a new stack would immediately begin sieging Shedun. Eventually in a sad and desperate battle, when the fourth stack in a row attacked Shedun, the town fell. I attempted to bottleneck the enemy back at Litash by marching from Carn Dum over the northern wastes but the cunning enemy somehow expected my army and ambushed me. It turns out that fog of war doesn't work against the AI. With Shedun lost once again and my advancing force gutted I was forced to admit defeat. The pink tide of Anduin had dealt me a stinging blow that day and there was nothing I could do about it.

    Ar Adunaim Call for Aid
    The Blue Mountain dwarves had gained significant gains and had gone berserk. They captured Lindon and Bree and were finishing off the Dunedain. Their massive empire was growing and not even the Khazad Dum dwarves could stop them. Groveling I came to my allies begging for aid. Of course I didn't ask them to attack the Beornings because that's not how the game works. Factions rarely ever agree to attack anyone even if you give them millions of gold which I didn't have. My plan was to draw in my allies into my own war by making them neighbour the Beornings. Shedun was already lost so I was obliged to give most of my lands to my allies. I was left with only three territories which was reduced to two shortly after Anduin came for one of them with a fearsome force.

    This was the turning point of the game. The struggle was over and very soon I realised just how clever and effective my idea was. Anduin attacked the Blue Mountain dwarves without hesitation and paid the price. Though the dwarves were slow to react their armies eventually moved in and I found myself in the middle of a bloody war between my allies and my enemies. In the commotion I aimed several strikes against the enemy and managed to get back most of my sold lands. By means of war I got all my lands back save for one region which the Blue Mountains got before me. With over three full stacks of Beornings still tied up in the lands west of Mount Gram I marched against Litash and then against Shedun quickly taking them back. My friends with my help took care of the stranded pink armies and my goal of bottlenecking the enemies at Litash was at last met. My warmachine was on the roll and I moved back to Rhudaur against the Dunedain who had once humiliated me. My treasury was filling thanks to my quick conquests using relatively small armies of cheap troops and hope for victory that had not been present since the arrival of the skin-changers hastily returned.

    Expansion and Victory
    The Blue Mountain dwarves were thanked for their aid and sent back to their own lands. They now focused on conquering Enedwaith and Isengard. At this point it was turn 300 and I had only 100 turns left to gain about 40 extra territories to achieve victory in time. My armies campaigned into the lands of Imladris, the Beornings, Khazad Dum, Lothlorien, and Rohan. With my empire at last established the unsuspecting enemies could not withstand my might. My armies improved with mostly elites remaining though I still had almost no cavalry. The hardest enemies afterwards were those hailing from Dorwinion but they had their hands full with Erebor and I didn't plan on invading their lands. With the conquest of Rohan I finally achieved victory on turn 375.

    Buying the Dwarves
    I couldn't have gained so many territories though without my use of diplomacy against the Blue Mountain dwarves. I trained a diplomat up to a rating of 9 and had him arrange territory transfers in exchange for a laughable amount of gold. The best deal he sealed was when he bought one of their towns for as little as 25,000. While my armies slaughtered and pillaged to the east of the Misty Mountains the lands to the west were instead given to me willingly by my allies. I bought territories from Fornost to Bree to Dunland and all the way to the territories bordering Isengard. The biggest setback to my buying spree was my ability to produce and ship trash armies to occupy the newly bought settlements. Towns and cities could be occupied by around five or six battalions, which were all militia trash for the sake of keeping down costs, but fortresses had to be garrisoned with full trash stacks. Several fortresses rebelled and I had to capture them back from rebels using those weaklings which made for entertaining battles. When all was said and done I won the campaign and I mostly did so through the use of diplomacy and cunning. Militarily I fought mostly defensive battles and even when on the offensive my strategy revolved around capturing enemy settlements and exhausting their military through a series of crushing defeats when they went in to retake them.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Video featuring the timelapse of the campaign map throughout the game:

    AI vs AI
    Every 10 turns I took a peak using cheats at the map to see how the world was doing out of interest and to take some screenshots. This is the order in which the factions died:

    1) Harad
    2) Dol Guldor
    3) Moria
    4) Bree
    5) Lindon
    6) Mirkwood
    7) Rhun
    8) Dunland
    9) Dunedain
    10) Beornings
    11) Rivendell
    12) Enedwaith
    13) Khazad Dum
    14) Mordor
    15) Lorien
    16) Isengard
    17) Rohan

    If the campaign were to continue past my victory the next factions to die would most likely be Dorwinion, Dol Amroth, Gondor, and Khand as the war was still raging and the Dwarven Alliance was winning.

    Southern Theatre
    Because I left the southern theatre Dol Amroth was left more or less one on one against Harad instead of facing both Harad and the Ar Adunaim. Dol Amroth with its superior armor was winning as it is but then Khand betrayed Sauron and it was all over for the Southrons. With Harad out of the picture Mordor stood alone against Gondor and Khand which pressed them from both sides. They were overwhelmed and pushed back. Mordor was effectively defeated quickly but the Southern Alliance took over 200 turns to capture Barad Dur. Khand would continue to fight Rhun in the Eastern Theatre.

    Central Theatre
    Dol Guldor felt the arm of all the good factions around them and were conquered quickly. Even Dorwinion and Dale took some of their territories before they were put out of their misery. The land fell into peace since both Dol Guldor and Mordor were crippled or crushed. When I caused a war between the Beornings who spilled out into Angmar and the Blue Mountains all hell broke loose. Erebor, who is standardly allied with the Blue Mountains, broke its alliance with Anduin. This led to a domino effect and the peace was no more. Mirkwood, Dorwinion, and Anduin formed the new Northern Alliance which also remained allied with the Southern Alliance. Against them stood Erebor, Dale, and later on the Ar Adunaim who together with the distant Blue Mountain dwarves formed the Dwarven Alliance. Mirwood was killed off quickly by Erebor and Anduin followed soon afterwards. Dorwinion, however, stood fast and the fighting over Mirkwood was bitter. Lothlorien was a wild card and when all hell broke loose they managed to refrain from allying with anyone and made war against Dorwinion until they were killed by the Ar Adunaim.

    Eastern Theatre
    Though I expected Rhun to dominate this theatre of war the opposite occurred. They couldn't kill Dorwinion fast enough and soon Khand came knocking at their doorstep. Whatever advantage they had against Dorwinion quickly vanished and they were beaten down. It took over a hundred turns for Khand to kill them off. Dorwinion grew to become a fearsome force and when another war broke out they bloodied the noses of both Dale and Erebor but ultimately could not withstand their combined might and started to lose ground.

    Western Theatre
    In the west Rohan fought Isengard and held its ground. Eventually Isengard got hammered and hid in their fortress even going so far as to make peace with Rohan. Isengard was destroyed by the Ar Adunaim towards the end of the game and so was Rohan. Further west Dunland battled against Enedwaith as usual. Enedwaith beat them down and allied with Khazad Dum to secure their victory. Ultimately the region was overrun by the Blue Mountain dwarves who like the Mongol Horde slew everyone who stood on their path.

    Northern Theatre
    In the cold north Gundabad fought againt the pink brotherhood of Erebor and the Beornings until they could fight no more and lost. Angmar was ambushed by the Ar Adunaim which sailed to them and after capturing their capital destroyed them by slaying all their family members including the four adopted ones. With their enemies destroyed and nothing to do the Blue Mountains started a war against the Dunedain and began pressing into their lands. The Dunedain themselves combined forces with Rivendell and battled the Moria orcs. These orcs didn't stand a chance as they were also fighting the Ar Adunaim and were defeated. Rivendell and the Dunedain continued to fight but moved on to larger enemies. After many battles the free peoples fell to the forces of the Blue Mountains and the Ar Adunaim. When the dust settled the north was divided between the two allies and the Dwarven Alliance reigned supreme.

    Starting in Angmar
    Angmar is one of the more outlandish places to start in as the Ar Adunaim. It takes 22 turns to even get there and once you do you have many enemies breathing down your neck. It is a good place for defense and had I foreseen the unbearable might of the Beornings the campaign would have went a lot smoother than it did. Angmar gives the Ar Adunaim the most amount of units; they get all their roster excluding the orcs. This makes building the Barracks of the True Sons very profitable as a single barrack building provides you with your entire army including Angmar's elites - the Darkblades and the Northguard. In certain regions the building additionally trains Rhudaur troops which makes it even more valuable. However, these units are very similar to the standard Ar Adunaim units; you get more of the same which is lots of good infantry and archers. The lack of forests, desserts, and port regions in Angmar also robs them of their best troops. Having no cavalry hurts and starting in other locations overall gives the Ar Adunaim a stronger and more well-rounded army... though using those Angmar troops is very fun and definitely worth a try.

    Overall this campaign was fun but brutal. I learned new things about the game particularly about the AIs behaviour when it comes to town purchasing. Never before have I bought territories with such tenacity. Under normal circumstances I would have given up but since I was doing recordings of the battles and taking screenshots I refused to abandon the campaign and managed to turn what seemed like a disaster around and achieve victory. As a faction the Ar Adunaim are a bit annoying because of all of the area of recruitment units. I didn't realise how common and powerful the Beruthiel Rangers were until I won the most important battles simply because I didn't own any desserts or forests. You can't even produce your normal troops unless you're at a port region. The auxiliary system is fun but sadly I didn't have the opportunity to use it to a great extent as most of the game I was fighting in Angmar and Rhudaur.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Here's a few videos I've recently uploaded involving the defenses of the choke points against the Beornings... the defenses that ultimately faltered:,,
    Last edited by UncleBilbo; April 18, 2020 at 07:38 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    Good write up, thanks.

    Black Numenorians are a fun faction because they are a horde and you can pick new interesting locations to start. I've used them to start in Mithlond and to start around the Sea of Rhun (the many ports in both locations worked well). This is also why I wish they'd make the Dunadain a starting horde too (makes more sense for them to do a wandering horde than Umbar anyways) so they too can be played in different starting locations. Imagine roleplaying the Dunadain who've decided to travel far south and lend all their strength to Gondor by settling down there, or even better.... the Dunadain chieftain has decided to press his claim to the throne of Gondor and expel the steward with force! So many possibilities. I think "Migration" campaigns are the key to long term replay ability.

    Anyways, the cheap purchasing of cities should be looked at. In a recent Endewaith game ive basically not gone to war with anyone and instead i've bought half of Eriador from my "allies". I've also posted single horsemen in strategic locations and used them to trigger wars between my "allies" and others by attacking others and dragging my allies into the attack. Mordor is still terribly strong and its destroyed Isengard and Gondor already and is working on Dunland. After Dunland there are my Blue Dwarf allies. In the meantime I think ill hunt for the ring and destroy Mordor with it because I don't have the energy to fight that unstoppable blob.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    The AI factors in certain elements when it comes to buying up their towns. From my experience these factors impact the price of the town:
    -The population of the town (not too sure about this one)
    -How well developed the town is (if you demolish all the buildings before selling a town it will be valued less)
    -Faction status (neutral and enemy faction are less likely to sell towns though I haven't tested this too much)
    -Border town status (buying a town that's on your border is much easier than not on your border)
    -Dimplomat's diplomacy skill (this has a very large impact)
    -Target's diplomacy skill (only diplomats and commanders have more than 0)

    From my Blue Mountain allies I bought towns by the truckload. Before my diplomat developed a good diplomacy rating from all the purchases I bought towns for around 90,000. Some big towns like Fornost were particularly expensive. Some of the smaller towns cost less with the cheapest one going for 25,000. On average I would spend about 50-60,000 per settlement later in my buying spree. The cost was slightly reduced seeing as I did have to demolish a few worthless buildings in the town afterwards (orc and elven buildings which gave no effect at all to my faction). The hardest town to buy was Dale. My diplomat was dealing with a 5 diplomacy rating Dalian diplomat, Dale was not a border town and was very far away from me, it was a large well developed town with a big population - the odds were stacked against me. I bought it for an outrageous price of a tribute of 120,000 for 5 turns. Why did I need Dale? Just to check out what kind of auxiliary troops I could get there >.<

    I will add some videos soon to the original post including a campaign map evolution video showing the campaign map every 10 turns.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBilbo View Post
    -Dimplomat's diplomacy skill (this has a very large impact)
    -Target's diplomacy skill (only diplomats and commanders have more than 0)
    Interesting, especially the part that you can make deals with zero skill non diplomats/commanders. That needs to be fixed absolutely. Like make it so diplos can only engage in other diplos and faction family members, or drastically reduce diplo skill to max 3 or something.

    Money is too abundant and combined with diplo it is so trivial to buy out everyone. Actually in my edewiath game the one ring is in the blue dwarf capital city (thorins hall), my allies. I was about to try to buy it and move a general into it to claim the ring. I was kind of surprised their capital city was even a option. Let me go try that now, brb..

    edit: yep, I just bought the capital of Erud Lune from the Dwarves themselves. Hilarious. Should not be allowed.
    Last edited by Multicolored; February 10, 2020 at 12:47 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    You cannot buy capital cities. Most likely they moved their capital. The AI automatically moves their capital to make full use of the capital city feature. They move into the centre of their empire to make the most profit (though I am not sure if they have to pay 5000 or not because you'd need to make a pretty penny to cancel out that high move cost to begin with). As their empire expanded they moved their capital. In my Bree campaign I exploited this feature by giving lands in Ereiador to Lothlorien, watched as they moved their capital to some unimportant town there, and proceeded to buy up Caras Galadhon.

    The ring spawning script only uses the old original capital cities of the factions. I am not sure if you can, however, obtain the ring by buying the city up. You'll have to tell me about how that goes because I was under the impression that to get the ring it was mandatory to capture the city in question using a general who has a spare ancilliry slot left.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    Ah I never noticed the AI moving their capital without first losing it. Yes thorin's hall was not their capital. And yes I did buy it moved a general in, the next turn the message popped up that "thorin's hall plundered" and "the one ring has been found". So I guess you can capture the ring through buying a city.

    People will need to resist the urge to buy cities, because it sure is pure cheese. Though it does make for a good game as a puppet master. Now I can buy the rest of the blue dwarves cities in the far west and position them as my shield vs. mordor.. I already did that with Isengard and Dunland, but both crumbled (isengard) or will (dunland).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    Well done, and very nice write-up. Looking forward to seeing your video/screenshots

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    Quote Originally Posted by Multicolored View Post

    Money is too abundant and combined with diplo it is so trivial to buy out everyone.
    What game are you playing, where you have loads of money?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    This game as any faction.

    Back to similar topic, in my latest game in a effort to increase difficulty I tried out another wacky migration campaign. I started as Bree, chose the mercenary path and then gave the rude Duneadain the middle finger and hopped on mercenary ships for Umbar. Very challenging because the mercenary path for Bree sucks, the mercenaries you recruit are on 20 turn retimers and I could not produce enough trips to contend. By contend I mean save Gondor/Dol Amroth from the inevitable flood out of Mordor. I had to go back to a earlier save and more directly prop up Khand and Dol Amroth and now am playing as money bags based out of Umbar and feeding gold to gondor/Khand/Dol Amroth as they slowly surround Mordor. Me and Dol Amroth took out Harad and I used my limited merc armies to recapture former Khand territories in the far east from Morder and gave them back to Khand so they'd open up the eastern front again against the forces of evil.

    Have not finished the game yet, curious to see if this good alliance in the south can take out morder and easternlings. Luckily I sparked a war between Isengard and Dunlendings (dunlendings winning currently) to keep Isengard off Gondors back. Blue dwarves are allied with Dunlendings so kind of worried I will have created a monster when all of Eriador jumps Gondor eventually.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    I have to disagree about your idea on the mercenaries. Military-wise they're equal if not better than the Dunedain because: 1) they can be built in any city as opposed to 5 limited locations, 2) they have faster replenishment times, 3) they're better for your army composition overall. The mercenaries give Bree uber Sons of the Fallen, useful javelin units (something Dunedain do not have), heavy privateer cavalry (as good as Sworn Horsemen but more numerous), privateers and harondor shock infantry, and useful defensive pikemen. The small upgrade to armor the Dunedain give is negligible and can be made by Bree anyway if they capture a town with an Armory. Furthermore, it's still possible to make a little Dunedain when siding with mercenaries by capturing Rivendell which still has the Dunedain camp building that doesn't get deleted through scripts.

    If not for the access to great roads, Tharbad Guards, Guards of Minas Ithil, and Steelbowmen I'd have to say the Mercenaries are hands down better. Of course when migrating the mercenaries will always be better because the Dunedain are permanently tied to their 5 (6 counting the small camp in the shire) locations and cannot be produced anywhere else.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    I never played Bree before , glad I picked mercs then to migrate. The 20 turn replenishment rate was/is brutal when you are newly established and very unit poor, thats why i had to go back to a earlier save and finance Dol Amroth and Khand since I did not have the army stacks needed to save Gondor, even though I was fabulously rich.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ar Adunaim in Angmar! VH/VH Long Campaign Close Victory!

    At last I've uploaded these videos... I really was putting if off for quite a bit. There'll be more to come on my channel but the most vital ones including the timelapse the campaign map I've included in the post. I was thinking of going for Rohan with this new version out for my next campaign but maybe I should try something else?

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